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2007 Goals

Do you set crazy goals for yourself on December 31st? Resolutions like quitting smoking, losing weight, getting that big promotion and other goals that you’ve been dreaming about for a while? Before that clock strikes twelve it's still possible that this could be your year. The big one that changes everything. The sky's the limit. Well here’s a secret for you, New Year's Eve is for suckers.

It's cold and dark out. The garden is shut down and the compost bin is frozen. It's too cold for the kids to get outside and burn off some of their limitless energy so they drive me and my wife up the wall. There's really nothing special going on.

Now the day that makes me reflect on the past and set goals for the future is May 21st, the first day of spring. I'm thinking what vegetables worked well last season and which ones do I want to try this year. Am I going to split those hostas or let them get even bigger? Do I want to expand the garden again or should I put in a drip irrigation system?

For a gardener, the sky's the limit on the first day of spring.

This year, I'm making it easy on myself. I'm setting one goal. I want to make my own pickles. Not a life changing event for sure but it's something that I've wanted to do all my life.

You see, I tried to make pickles once when I was a kid. The results were scary at best. I put a cucumber in a jar of vinegar with a couple of dill leaves from the garden. Obviously not the best recipe but there was no internet in the 80ies and we didn't have a copy of Pickling For Dummies laying around the house either.

Well, I lost interest as I often did back then and my parents ignored it too. I think it actually scared them. No one touched "the pickle jar" for years. Seriously it was at least 5 years that we had a bloated cucumber in a jar on top of the fridge. We joked about "the pickle jar" all the time but there it remained like a shrine to great cucumbers of the past.

Years later, I wound up throwing the whole thing out, jar and all before I moved out. If I had left it behind, my parents might have wrapped it up and given it to me for a birthday present. Don’t laugh, that's something they'd do.

It's about 20 years later now and I still haven't made my own pickles. I think it's time.

2007 will be the year of the pickle. I vow that this will be the year that I grow cucumbers, dill and garlic in the garden. I promise that they those ingredients will make it into a container full of brine and they will ferment like the wind. So it shall be written, so it shall be done.

What are your gardening goals for 2007? Post them on your blog and send me the link. Compostman [at] gmail [dot] com
I'll compile them in a future post so and we can all compare notes. 2007 could be your year too. Happy Spring!


  1. Ki said...
    A great project but too involved for me with too many other things going on. I read an article of a surefire recipe for pickles. I believe it was in the Times of Trenton. Maybe you can do a search? All his neighbors raved about his pickles...made dozens of jars each year. I would like to learn to make a good Korean kim chi especially the baby daikon ones. Absolutely delicious with lots of hot peppers and a little anchovy sauce. We like it spicy hot.
    Rustic Path Gardens's Blog said...
    Good luck with the pickles! I've never done them myself but my mother always did and they're sooo much better than store bought. :-) I did manage to can pickled peppers one year though. HOT!!!

    Gardening goals here?....well, I'd like to make us a little more self sufficient I guess. Grow more veggies that will keep awhile (potatoes, onions, carrots) and grow more veggies that I can freeze (peppers, maters for salsa and sauce) and LOTS of yummy herbs for drying! One of my biggest goals though is to grow tons of basil so I can make freezer pesto.

    Happy Gardening!
    P~ said...
    Great post Anthony! I love the honest ambition! I have been doing quite a lot of goal setting lately so I can definitely relate. I did start a blog this year, which has been one of my goals. It's not purely a gardening blog, but being one of my passions It definitely has a prominent presence. you can find it at http://apaetoday.blogspot.com. As far as gardening goals for this year my biggest would be to build and start a compost pile.
    I hope to hear from you, I will definitely be checking back soon!
    Marc said...
    Great goal Anthony! I made pickles last year for the first time. Just don't break the jars like I did!

    I also like your idea about changing new year's resolutions making day to the first day of Spring!

    My main goal for this year is to get at least one ear of corn before the Racoons, but I already wrote about that. I will think of others and write a post about it, linking to your call to action post! Nice job!
    Anthony said...
    Ki, I watched an episode of Good Eats where Alton Brown makes pickles and his recipe looked doable. Kim chi is probably much harder to make but worth it if you can do it.

    Rustic, I'd like to be more self sufficient too but I wind up giving my extras away to family and friends. I never have time to use my dehydrator or my vacuum sealer to save my harvest. Freezer Pesto is great to have around. Do you use an ice cube tray?

    P~, Nice blog, I like those raised garden bed pictures. Good luck with the compost bin. I know a good resource about composting if you need it. :)

    Marc, thanks for the pickling tip. I hope my family has as much fun pickling as it looks like yours did. And good luck with those racoons. I just bought 100 ft of deer fencing at Lowes the other day ($11) maybe you could do the same.
    anna maria said...
    I'm a pickle lover too, so I thought you might be interested in the is recipe on Mahanandi's site
    I haven't tried them yet, but I intend to. They aren't truly the pickles we are accustomed to, but they sound good and could work in a pickle emergency!
    lisa said...
    "The Year of the Pickle"...I love it! Nice, do-able goal...I usually set myself up with a half dozen or so goals/projects, but it works for me because I can keep my other obligations light (son's grown, no grandchildren). Good luck with the pickles...my mom used to make them in stoneware crocks, and it was a process lasting several days, but I know there are easier recipes to be had.

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